roiled tempers on capitol hill. senate minority leader mitch mcconnell tried yesterday to force a vote on the issue, assuming republicans would prevail. >> look, the only way we ever cut spending around here is by using the debate over the debt limit to do it. now the president wants to remove that spur to cut altogether. it gets in the way of his spending plans. i assure you, it's not going to happen. >> reporter: but when majority leader harry reid took him up on the offer today, mcconnell backed down. >> what we have here is a case i told everyone that we are willing to have that vote, up or down vote, and now the gop leader objects to his own idea. >> woodruff: meantime, republicans learned today the party was losing one of their most outspoken voices on fiscal issues. two-term south carolina senator jim demint announced that he will resign in january. to become the next president of the heritage foundation-- a conservative washington think tank. in a statement, demint said, a tea party favorite, demint had blasted the house republicans' proposal to raise revenue earlier in the wee
minority leader mitch mcconnell said president obama needs to ride herd on democrats if there's any hope of agreement. >> only one person in the country can deliver the members of his party to support a deal that he makes. and that's the president. there have been no deals of this magnitude made in modern times in congress and forced on a reluctant president. i would hope the president would turn off the campaign. congratulations you had a great victory. and let's get serious about dealing with this deficit and debt here at the end of the year. >> reporter: the partisan back and forth was briefly on hold this evening for the lighting of the capital christmas tree but there was little else in the day's developments to suggest happy holidays. >> woodruff: still to come on the newshour, nato's decision to deploy an anti-missile system to turkey; the massive protest against the government in cairo; paul krugman on the stalemate over taxes and spending; the ongoing cholera epidemic in haiti; and american military leadership. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan.
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